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Femi Kuti Concert

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Femi Kuti and the Positive force Band were in Manchester as part of the 'We Face Forward Music from Africa' event and I was there to experience it.
It was a sold out show, which was held at the intimate, hole in a wall bar called Band on the wall hehe...
After a little bit of a wait at the lounge of the bar drinking cocktails, we all filed in. I was amongst the first few to go in so I had the opportunity to look for a good spot, and while I was tempted to go upstairs, I remembered the (Mos Def) concert I went to last year and my 'ringing ears' as a result of staying too close to the stage and speakers. I'm borderline obsessive so when I do things I go all out, and went against my better judgement (wanting to be as close to the action as possible) again and ended up with ringing ears. *Note to self wear ear plugs next time you go to a concert.

The concert started with a bang, the band came in first playing the trumpets,saxophone, clarinets and hornets don't really know the difference anyway, but the whole shebang. Then the dancers came in all energetic, and moved with such rhythm the grounds of the hall shook, it was so exhilarating.

The setting was Fela-like interspersed with little talks in between, about politics of Nigeria-The corruption, and about men/women relationships. He thanked his brothers and sisters in the 'diaspora' who came to support him also. It was a surprisingly mixed crowd, with so many die hard fans singing along, jumping and dancing. I have never seen such enthusiasts; they were as energetic as the dancers if not more. There was always an occasional look of wonderment between my new found friend Temi and I. It was just too funny.

In the course of the concert there was this guy who kept shouting 'were' which means crazy in Yoruba, wanting Femi to sing the song 'Shotan' from the African Shrine album, and Femi pretended not to hear him while making sarcastic remarks about pot bellied men and beer etc. After songs like 'If they want to hear' and 'Dem Bobo' from the Africa Shrine album to 'Scatta Head' from Shoki Shoki and other songs, he took a bow and left...
...While the show seemed to be over, the audience asked for more.
No one moved during the short interlude, and when it almost seemed like they were not coming out, the band came back in dancing.

This was when the madness started, Femi decided to sing the 'Were'  Shotan song and the response of the crowd was something out of this world, I was too shocked. Those in front started spraying water, beer and any liquid they could find while jumping and literally acting crazy, almost to where a fight was going to ensue. It was purely insane!
Then, he sang the popular Beng Beng Beng which was once banned in Nigeria, then a little more dialogue and it was over. Overall it was a good concert. He connected with the audience with an occasional fist bump (chop knuckle) in Naija terms and all in all, It looked like everyone had a good time.

Pictures Below

 Testing my camera (Had to turn off the flash)

Waiting for the show to start

 Femi Kuti


The Band

 Temi and I


Femi, Temi and I



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